London’s tower builders have been put on notice after British Land submitted long-awaited proposals for a 37-storey office tower at its Broadgate development in the Square Mile designed by Danish architect 3XN.
Sir Robert McAlpine has been carrying out much of British Land’s redevelopment of Broadgate and is nearing the end of work on 100 Liverpool Street, whose completion has been delayed by the covid-19 pandemic, while it is also working on AHMM’s 1-2 Broadgate.
But other tower builders have been running the rule over the latest job at 2 Finsbury Avenue which is 3XN’s first project in London.
British Land’s head of development Nigel Webb said it was “too early to say” what the developer’s building plans were on the scheme, adding it was the first time it had worked with 3XN. “They’re a hugely exciting architect,” he said.
Firms which have worked with 3XN before include Multiplex with the pair teaming up for a 50-storey office building in Sydney called Quay Quarter Tower which is due to finish towards the end of next year.
The scheme for 2 Finsbury Avenue will see two buildings at 2-3 Finsbury Avenue built by British architect Peter Foggo in the 1980s knocked down and replace already consented plans by Arup for a 32-storey tower that was approved in March 2018.
In a planning statement sent into City of London planners, British Land says: “The consented scheme was the culmination of a design originally conceived in 2014. The transformation of Broadgate has progressed since [it] was approved, and occupier and workplace requirements have evolved since then too. These new proposals respond to this changing context and propose a new approach to the Site’s redevelopment, including a best practice approach to sustainability, workplace design and inclusion.”
As well as the taller East tower, the revised scheme will feature a smaller, 20-storey West tower with the pair linked by a 13-storey podium that will contain green spaces and communal areas.
The design is being developed with the goal of being net-zero carbon in both its construction and operation. The interiors for the office will be developed in collaboration with behavioural scientists from 3XN’s innovation arm GXN to provide a comfortable working environment.
They will include flexible workspaces that cater for individual and collaborative work as well as spaces for socialising.
British Land, which over the summer saw Skanska start work on the Norton Folgate scheme, further up Bishopsgate, said in the long run it wants to turn Broadgate into a seven-day destination.
Webb said the whole of the City is “on a journey, it’s working its way through a different set of uses. It’s becoming a softer environment and it will move to a seven-day economy, where at the moment it’s still five days a week.”
Others working on the 2 Finsbury Avenue scheme include executive architect Adamson, the firm which worked on the Shard, structural engineer Ramboll, QS Core 5 and project manager Gardiner & Theobald.
It will feature just over 85,000 sq m of office space, along with retail and restaurants.